Bumper year for corporate finance advisers Cleveland Scott

The team at corporate finance boutique Cleveland Scott are toasting a record 12-month period after advising on deals with a total value of over £60m.

Among the highlights of the year to June was the management buyout of language services provider The Translation People, backed by Mobeus Equity Partners. Cleveland Scott co-founder and joint managing director Tim Scott introduced Mobeus to the company and advised the vendors.
North west-based Cleveland Scott also acted for the shareholders of May Figures, a chartered accountancy and tax advisory firm, on its sale to private-equity backed accountancy firm AAB.
Other notable deals included advising the shareholders of Vanguard Cleaning Management Solutions, which is based in Oswestry, Shropshire, on its acquisition by Churchill Support Services, which has its headquarters in Chorley.
The team also advised sales and lettings agency Matthews of Chester on its sale to Lomond Group through its Thornley Groves brand, and acted for north west sports and fitness brand Built for Athletes on a seven-figure equity investment by River Capital.
Tim Scott and Richard Higham founded Cleveland Scott in 2017 to focus on advising business owners on their exit and succession strategies by helping prepare their companies for sale and identifying buyers.
They were joined in 2021 by Ryan Niblock as corporate finance director. Cleveland Scott has its offices in Warrington.
The trio said the firm has a robust pipeline, with sectors such as renewable energy and professional services in particular seeing strong activity.
Cleveland Scott’s most recent deal saw the firm advise Hafod Renewable Energy, based in North Wales, on its sale to Warrington-headquartered Certas Energy.
Tim said: “Our business has grown year-on-year, but the last 12 months have been particularly buoyant.
“The market has been very positive despite the obvious economic headwinds. There is still plenty of capital available from banks, private equity and debt funds, and strong appetite from buyers and sellers.”
Richard said: “Business owners have had to deal with two seismic and hopefully once-in-a-lifetime situations in Brexit and Covid, which has led to many looking to de-risk, either through a partial or full exit.
“As our reputation and profile have grown, so too has the geographical spread of our work. Business owners and acquirers like our approach, and the fact that it is ourselves who are the deal team, having over 50 years’ combined experience of leading on merger and acquisition transactions.
“We invest a lot of time and energy with our clients to provide the right advice, and often over an extended period, to get their businesses into a position to enable them to maximise value, by providing advice on putting together senior teams, diversifying their client base, entering new markets and creating appropriate corporate structures, to make them more attractive to potential buyers.
“We’ve completed a range of deals, including trade sales to PLCs, private equity-backed buyouts and fundraisings, on behalf of companies across the country. It’s been hugely satisfying to see the fruits of our labour realised with these transactions.
“Our pipeline remains very strong and we are expecting to bring a number of new opportunities to market later this year and into 2024.”
Ryan said: “Certain sectors are particularly active, such as renewable energy and professional services.
“Interest in renewable energy businesses has grown as the country transitions to net zero and as domestic and commercial users turn away from fossil fuels towards green energy sources. The recent spike in energy prices has supercharged this sector even further.
“The professional services market is highly fragmented with a lot of opportunities for consolidation, and deal activity is largely being driven by private equity.”

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